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Man pulled off of overbooked flight UA3411 (ORD-SDF) 9 Apr 2017 {Settlement reached}

Man pulled off of overbooked flight UA3411 (ORD-SDF) 9 Apr 2017 {Settlement reached}

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Old Apr 13, 18, 1:33 pm   -   Wikipost
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Statement from United Airlines Regarding Resolution with Dr. David Dao - released 27 April 2017
CHICAGO, April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411. We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do.
DOT findings related to the UA3411 9 April 2017 IDB incident 12 May 2017

What facts do we know?
  • UA3411, operated by Republic Airways, ORD-SDF on Sunday, April 9, 2017. UA3411 was the second to last flight to SDF for United. AA3509 and UA4771 were the two remaining departures for the day. Also, AA and DL had connecting options providing for same-day arrival in SDF.
  • After the flight was fully boarded, United determined four seats were needed to accommodate crew to SDF for a flight on Monday.
  • United solicited volunteers for VDB. (BUT stopped at $800 in UA$s, not cash). Chose not to go to the levels such as 1350 that airlines have been known to go even in case of weather impacted disruption)
  • After receiving no volunteers for $800 vouchers, a passenger volunteered for $1,600 and was "laughed at" and refused, United determined four passengers to be removed from the flight.
  • One passenger refused and Chicago Aviation Security Officers were called to forcibly remove the passenger.
  • The passenger hit the armrest in the aisle and received a concussion, a broken nose, a bloodied lip, and the loss of two teeth.
  • After being removed from the plane, the passenger re-boarded saying "I need to go home" repeatedly, before being removed again.
  • United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said the flight was sold out — but not oversold. Instead, United and regional affiliate Republic Airlines – the unit that operated Flight 3411 – decided they had to remove four passengers from the flight to accommodate crewmembers who were needed in Louisville the next day for a “downline connection.”

United Express Flight 3411 Review and Action Report - released 27 April 2017

Videos

Internal Communication by Oscar Munoz
Oscar Munoz sent an internal communication to UA employees (sources: View From The Wing, Chicago Tribune):
Dear Team,

Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville. While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I've included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees.

As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.

I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident. Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.

Oscar

Summary of Flight 3411
  • On Sunday, April 9, after United Express Flight 3411 was fully boarded, United's gate agents were approached by crewmembers that were told they needed to board the flight.
  • We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation) and when we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions.
  • He was approached a few more times after that in order to gain his compliance to come off the aircraft, and each time he refused and became more and more disruptive and belligerent.
  • Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight. He repeatedly declined to leave.
  • Chicago Aviation Security Officers were unable to gain his cooperation and physically removed him from the flight as he continued to resist - running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both our crew and security officials.
Email sent to all employees at 2:08PM on Tuesday, April 11.
Dear Team,

The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.

I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.

It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.

I promise you we will do better.

Sincerely,

Oscar
Statement to customers - 27 April 2017
Each flight you take with us represents an important promise we make to you, our customer. It's not simply that we make sure you reach your destination safely and on time, but also that you will be treated with the highest level of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect.

Earlier this month, we broke that trust when a passenger was forcibly removed from one of our planes. We can never say we are sorry enough for what occurred, but we also know meaningful actions will speak louder than words.

For the past several weeks, we have been urgently working to answer two questions: How did this happen, and how can we do our best to ensure this never happens again?

It happened because our corporate policies were placed ahead of our shared values. Our procedures got in the way of our employees doing what they know is right.

Fixing that problem starts now with changing how we fly, serve and respect our customers. This is a turning point for all of us here at United – and as CEO, it's my responsibility to make sure that we learn from this experience and redouble our efforts to put our customers at the center of everything we do.

That’s why we announced that we will no longer ask law enforcement to remove customers from a flight and customers will not be required to give up their seat once on board – except in matters of safety or security.

We also know that despite our best efforts, when things don’t go the way they should, we need to be there for you to make things right. There are several new ways we’re going to do just that.

We will increase incentives for voluntary rebooking up to $10,000 and will be eliminating the red tape on permanently lost bags with a new "no-questions-asked" $1,500 reimbursement policy. We will also be rolling out a new app for our employees that will enable them to provide on-the-spot goodwill gestures in the form of miles, travel credit and other amenities when your experience with us misses the mark. You can learn more about these commitments and many other changes at hub.united.com.

While these actions are important, I have found myself reflecting more broadly on the role we play and the responsibilities we have to you and the communities we serve.

I believe we must go further in redefining what United's corporate citizenship looks like in our society. If our chief good as a company is only getting you to and from your destination, that would show a lack of moral imagination on our part. You can and ought to expect more from us, and we intend to live up to those higher expectations in the way we embody social responsibility and civic leadership everywhere we operate. I hope you will see that pledge express itself in our actions going forward, of which these initial, though important, changes are merely a first step.

Our goal should be nothing less than to make you truly proud to say, "I fly United."

Ultimately, the measure of our success is your satisfaction and the past several weeks have moved us to go further than ever before in elevating your experience with us. I know our 87,000 employees have taken this message to heart, and they are as energized as ever to fulfill our promise to serve you better with each flight and earn the trust you’ve given us.

We are working harder than ever for the privilege to serve you and I know we will be stronger, better and the customer-focused airline you expect and deserve.

With Great Gratitude,

Oscar Munoz
CEO
United Airlines
Aftermath
Poll: Your Opinion of United Airlines
Poll link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KP68GYG
Results link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/results...Q6B2B/instant/
Reference Material

UA's Customer Commitment says:
Occasionally we may not be able to provide you with a seat on a specific flight, even if you hold a ticket, have checked in, are present to board on time, and comply with other requirements. This is called an oversale, and occurs when restrictions apply to operating a particular flight safely (such as aircraft weight limits); when we have to substitute a smaller aircraft in place of a larger aircraft that was originally scheduled; or if more customers have checked in and are prepared to board than we have available seats.

If your flight is in an oversale situation, you will not be denied a seat until we first ask for volunteers willing to give up their confirmed seats. If there are not enough volunteers, we will deny boarding to passengers in accordance with our written policy on boarding priority. If you are involuntarily denied boarding and have complied with our check-in and other applicable rules, we will give you a written statement that describes your rights and explains how we determine boarding priority for an oversold flight. You will generally be entitled to compensation and transportation on an alternate flight.

We make complete rules for the payment of compensation, as well as our policy about boarding priorities, available at airports we serve. We will follow these rules to ensure you are treated fairly. Please be aware that you may be denied boarding without compensation if you do not check in on time or do not meet certain other requirements, or if we offer you alternative transportation that is planned to arrive at your destination or first stopover no later than one hour after the planned arrival time of your original flight.
CoC is here: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...-carriage.aspx
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Old Apr 15, 17, 5:21 pm
  #5866  
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Originally Posted by NorthwestFlyer View Post
Just Saw the United Airlines Re-Accommodation video shot from the beginning. Dr. Dao was real surly before the incident and told the flight attendant that he was going to Sue 'United Airlines' before he was even touched. The plot thickens

Most people who are in an argument and feel hard done if they felt they have done nothing wrong and paid for a service would threaten to sue. It's nothing new nor anything surprising. There is no "plot."

Did you forget this is amerika? Or did you forget?~A country where even life savers get sued for saving lives.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 5:34 pm
  #5867  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
I've seen DL offer higher amounts than $800 at European airports when seeking volunteers to fly later than originally booked. Even 10-15 years ago.
The customer service issue began when United decided to stuff 4 employees on a fully book airplane at the last second. The person who bid $1600 might have settled for $1350 but that offer was never made.

United and its employees failed on every level.

Last edited by Boggie Dog; Apr 15, 17 at 6:05 pm
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Old Apr 15, 17, 5:38 pm
  #5868  
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
My uncle's, friend's, cousin's, daughter's, hairdresser said......I get the fact that upping the amount could and probably would have avoided the situation. The inconvenience wouldn't change though. Upping the amount wouldn't magically change the length of the delay, it would just likely make it more palatable. So to answer my question without the benefit of hindsight, we don't know that there was another option.

I don't have to live in a UX station to know how crew scheduling works. My point was simply that it's easy to say they could do this or they could do that. I'm not talking about what could happen in the future or what has happened on other occasions. I'm simply referring to this one instance in time, without the benefit of hindsight, and responding to the post that said "customers were put last". At the time the decisions were made, I can see how and why some of the decision were made and done so with the thought that they would inconvenience the least amount of customers.

Again, I'm not supporting or agreeing with the way things turned out.
Were customers put first over crew?
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Old Apr 15, 17, 5:42 pm
  #5869  
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
Still apples and oranges as you don't buy the seat (or the aircraft) as a passenger. You essentially rent it and get the right to put your butt into a seat for a flight X on day Y.

A comparable example would be: You let a room in your house to a person. That person keeps paying his rent and performs accordingly to the terms both of you agreed upon (he doesn't make house parties, mows the lawn, doesn't do drugs on your premises, etc.).

By surprise, a friend's boyfriend/girlfriend breaks up with them and that friend needs to crash somewhere. You give that friend the room of your tenant. The tenant objects. You call the cops. I would love to see the cop that would intervene.

Of course, even this example isn't perfect and bear in mind that analogy works very rarely (particularly in law) and should thus be avoided.
Nothing you have said above is a direct comparison to purchasing a seat on an airliner as part of the service THEY OFFER to transport you from A to B.

Yes, terms and conditions do exist but to suggest it is normal to remove a paying passenger from a flight (with or without compensation) for no infractions is unacceptable, especially if they do not agree to be removed once they have cleared boarding and are seated in the aircraft.

The onus is on the airliner to fulfill their obligations to the paying customer.

If they were going to remove 3-4 passengers for operational purposes, the correct procedure would have been to stop the 3-4 passengers at the check in counter and to inform them WHY they could not board the flight they were booked on and to sort out compensation and to re-book them on the next available flight.

Not once the passengers had boarded and were seated and were ready to depart. Not a 68 year old man travelling with his wife who had no interest in compensation to step off the aircraft nor had no interest in solving a problem UA made for themselves.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 5:44 pm
  #5870  
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Originally Posted by prestonh View Post
There are all kinds of options for the deadhead crew.

If you have lived in an UX station you would know that crew scheduling delays happen all. the. time. It is probably worse now with the hour rules for crew. What OO used to do is swap crews from later flights to their earlier departing ones (sometimes taking a delay for crew rest requirements) in hope that they can get another crew in for the later flight. Sometimes that meant a delay of a few hours for the later departing flight. It really depends when the first flight arrives in the morning and where the crew is coming from. Whether that would have worked in this scenario depends on equipment/carrier, etc. In the grand scheme a rolling delay would hardly be a loss considering how mainline does this with international irrops with deadheading crews to the outstations on 24hr+ delays all the time.

The problem comes back to the airlines and how they are organized and how they rotate their crews and WHERE they station crews and HUBS throughout the USA.

They know very well weather play's a seasonal role in delayed/cancelled flights and the need to ensure they have sufficient crews in key locations is always important.

It always comes down to cost and manpower.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 6:04 pm
  #5871  
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Originally Posted by lazard View Post
He was already on the phone with his lawyer.
It's been reported that he was on the phone with United but if it was his lawyer his concerns were proven to be sound.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 6:10 pm
  #5872  
 
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Originally Posted by dvlsadvc8 View Post
Wrong. This happens on all airlines, everyday. This unfortunately escalated to a standoff between parties, and everyone came out a loser.
discrimination against minorities also happen quite frequently on many airlines/airports but that does not make it an acceptable process. Simnilarly forcible removal of law abiding passengers as a business practice should not be condoned.

If ciivil disobedience/noncooperation by this person results in elimination of IDB, that would be a good outcome. (VDB is fine, not IDB)
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Old Apr 15, 17, 6:17 pm
  #5873  
 
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This just reported: United did NOT remove Dr. Dao's checked luggage from the plane.

https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk...akes-it-a.html
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Old Apr 15, 17, 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by reamworks View Post
This just reported: United did NOT remove Dr. Dao's checked luggage from the plane.

https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk...akes-it-a.html
Am trying to figure out if the luggage really matters in the story?
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Old Apr 15, 17, 6:34 pm
  #5875  
 
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Originally Posted by deskover54 View Post
Am trying to figure out if the luggage really matters in the story?
Furthers the narrative that United's IDB policy completely screws the customer. IDB someone but don't let them have their luggage.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 6:54 pm
  #5876  
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Originally Posted by NorthwestFlyer View Post
Just Saw the United Airlines Re-Accommodation video shot from the beginning. Dr. Dao was real surly before the incident and told the flight attendant that he was going to Sue 'United Airlines' before he was even touched. The plot thickens
Not much is thickening except UA's defensive posture. Nothing is wrong with threatening to sue, it certainly doesn't justify forcibly evicting a paying customer with violence.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 6:54 pm
  #5877  
 
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I've given up discussing this w/ the folk on the non-travel BB. They've said UA shouldn't have called LE, but really it's all the doc's fault. That he wanted the payout, has bad history, and deliberately caused this just so he could collect millions, that he's not a victim but a deliberate opportunist, & that he had to act hard to keep the smile off his face when he came back on w/ blood on him & ran through the cabin.

Cheers.
UA took the bait and proved to the world how pervasively toxic their corporate culture is: Passengers are the enemy and are to be dealt with accordingly.

Dao's lawyer speaks to this: https://boingboing.net/2017/04/14/la...tm_campaign=im

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 16, 17 at 1:34 am Reason: Discuss the issues, not the poster(s)
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Old Apr 15, 17, 6:58 pm
  #5878  
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
My uncle's, friend's, cousin's, daughter's, hairdresser said......I get the fact that upping the amount could and probably would have avoided the situation. The inconvenience wouldn't change though. Upping the amount wouldn't magically change the length of the delay, it would just likely make it more palatable. So to answer my question without the benefit of hindsight, we don't know that there was another option.

I don't have to live in a UX station to know how crew scheduling works. My point was simply that it's easy to say they could do this or they could do that. I'm not talking about what could happen in the future or what has happened on other occasions. I'm simply referring to this one instance in time, without the benefit of hindsight, and responding to the post that said "customers were put last". At the time the decisions were made, I can see how and why some of the decision were made and done so with the thought that they would inconvenience the least amount of customers.

Again, I'm not supporting or agreeing with the way things turned out.
Yeah, it does. If someone, because of their schedule, etc, chooses to be inconvienced it is problembly less of an inconvenience than someone who doesn't choose. Or at least their inconvenience is in line with the payment. That's why airlines need to eliminate IDB in most cases and only do VDBs.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 7:27 pm
  #5879  
 
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Originally Posted by Sabai View Post
To the UA apologistas I say: So what? UA took the bait and proved to the world how pervasively toxic their corporate culture is: Passengers are the enemy and are to be dealt with accordingly.

Dao's lawyer speaks to this: https://boingboing.net/2017/04/14/la...tm_campaign=im
I watched that - an incredibly rambling and unspecific narrative.

Here are some specifics - past settlements by this attorney

http://www.corboydemetrio.com/success.html

I was earlier of the opinion this could be well into the tens of millions (20, 30 million plus).

Then i saw what much more serious personal injuries / deaths received...

A brain injury that resulted in a coma for months got $30mn in 2009

http://www.corboydemetrio.com/news-p...eases-382.html

And according to them the record for wrongful death in aviation was $25mn

http://www.corboydemetrio.com/success-76.html

(ironically, that's about the sum paid for a passenger who died in the UA Sioux City crash in 1989, which the NTSB said was a result in part of UA's maintenance procedures - a much more serious allegation than a customer service issue..call it $50mn in today's dollars.)

A Target door that cause a woman enough brain damage she needed to live in a nursing home got $7.5 million - from a company with similar pockets to United

http://www.corboydemetrio.com/news-p...eases-403.html

If this goes to trial, I think he will get much less in monetary damages than if it settles, unless he ends up with some serious, long lasting brain injury, when you consider the real injury to him is, as graphic as it is, minor compared to cases like these regularly in the courts that involve lifetime disability or death.

If he settles, $10mn+ is possible given the press coverage, but it would be extraordinarly disproportionate to the actual personal damages. And a trial will limit that (remember - this isn't a class action - he's not going to be compensated for all of our experiences! and the jury will be selected to be uninformed about the case)

I'm thankful that our country's most galvanizing aviation story this decade is from a failure of customer service, rather than over 100 deaths from a failure of maintenance oversight, as was the case 25 years ago.

And that our most galvanizing story last decade was a crew that landed in the Hudson River with no lives lost.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 7:33 pm
  #5880  
 
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
My uncle's, friend's, cousin's, daughter's, hairdresser said......I get the fact that upping the amount could and probably would have avoided the situation. The inconvenience wouldn't change though. Upping the amount wouldn't magically change the length of the delay, it would just likely make it more palatable. So to answer my question without the benefit of hindsight, we don't know that there was another option.
Again, I'm not supporting or agreeing with the way things turned out.
Sure it would. The idea is that you up the compensation until someone bites. That person is a person for whom the delay would probably cause the least inconvenience, because they were willing to bid lower than everyone else.
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